2019-09-22 - Oh My God Particle


Mikhail drops in to see Jemma and learns about a strange energy signal

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Sep 22 02:03:09 2019
Location: Conference Room

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Theme Song



It's been a couple of days since the three mutants were retrieved from Iraq. They've been secured in containment 'fields' in the Medbay of The Triskelion. Away from others but still near enough that medical staff can monitor them.

There's little known about them right now, except they're bodies are going through 'withdrawal' now the nanotech they used was disrupted.

Jemma Simmons has finally had time to devote to examining them and has the able assistance of two others. One is a Scientist like herself, the other a generalist who happens to a passable engineer and can lend muscle if the situation warrants it.

Hank is present, he's muscle! Actually no, he's the other scientist, but he does have a few muscles to lend to things if there's a need. Not like Jemma's a slouch in that department either after having been Deathloked and equipped with a cyberlimb and such.

"So…I would suggest we take a sample of the man's blood, and then screen for the nanotech as we analyze the genetics."

Hank nods firmly. "I do /not/ think we should lower the stasis field during this process." Beat. "Unless there's no other option."

There are three captive mutants. Their names remain unknown; all tests that could have been done, ranging from DNA to fingerprint identification, have proven that these three men essentially don't exist. Their names are not known, nor are their code names, but for the sake of storytelling ease, they are named Bullfist, Silverlock, and Shift.

Bullfist is the largest of the three, a beastly man who more closely resembles an ogre than a human. Silverlock is slender, of average height, with a shock of white hair in odd juxtaposition to such a young face. This was the time-slowing mutant, and both of them seem to hail from Slavic regions.

Shift, the ringleader and the one presumed responsible for the terror attacks in America, seems to hail from central Africa.

The stasis fields have kept the three mutants essentially in a comatose state, but their vitals show troubling signs. Everything seems to be out of whack and unstable; from pulse to brain wave patterns. The nanotech that their gunmetal gray skin suits are made of remains offline, having been baked by an EMP.

Jeriah London, not a mutant, is the one who is hanging back. This is partly because he's less useful for scientific endeavor and partly because he needs to keep an eye on everyone. This is why all three of his (rather large) robotic combat canines are in the room and it's also why he's in full tactical gear with an electro-plasma shotgun resting in his hand on a sling.

"Don't mind me. I'm just here for the food." He murmurs.

And okay, maybe to compute something. Like Pi to a billion places.

"Lowering the statis field is a risk, I agree." Jemma answers, casting Jeriah a look when he comments on the food. He didn't bring her any, after all. "We know little about these men, except they've been tampered with. I'm just pulling the results up from the first set of tests we conducted." Those results will appear on the 3D hologram above the workbench to the side of the room.

"The stasis field is supposedly keeping them alive but we don't know enough about the nanotech to know it's *not* doing something else while they're out." Jemma's seen a lot in her with SHIELD. "But draw the blood, Hank - the system over there will let you operate remotely. Jeriah, have you seen anything like this in your time in the field?"

It's the sort of thing Genosha would do, after all.

A nod from the fuzzy blue guy, and then he gets to work on the blood draw. He takes exquisite care, follows all the safety protocols to the letter and in some cases beyond that point as he does so. "I have an energy bar if you're peckish, Jemma." Hank offers with a briefly flashed toothy grin.

Once he gets the blood drawn he very VERY carefully takes the sample vial to run the blood panel, tox screen and genetic scan.

"Huh..interesting." He puts the output up on a screen, moving over to mark several points. "These are the so-called 'X-factor', the 'mutant gene'. HOWEVER…the very structure has been altered, each individual is unique, of course, but these points…" He finger marks them knowing Jeamma's stuff will register his hand movements just fine. "…these points are artificial, and they appear to be tied into the nanotech in a symbiotic, almost parasitic, fashion…ABSOLUTELY ingenious and equally vile…Jemma, could you confirm? The subject's DNA is /bound/, in fact the nano-tech seems to be holding it together."5r

"Can't say that I have." Jeriah says as he hangs back and listens. There's a lot of interesting tech at play here and he's seen a fair amount in his time. But this? This is beyond his experience. The people he worked with were largely interested in cybernetics and reverbium based weaponry. This is what amounts to witchcraft in his view.

Which it KIND of is.

Jemma takes her time to assess the results, zooming in on the points and turning the model. "Almost Hank. Look …" gesturing to the points "These aren't artificial, these are organic and see these markers … those suggest this is secondary mutation that has been triggered by the tech."

"Jeriah. I've managed to pull some of the nanites for the samples. Engineering hooked up a system to access them. Are you able to decode them? Tell us what they were doing, apart from regulating their systems?"

That seems to be the key here.

"In a way, the nano-tech is holding their systems together, but it's because their bodies have become dependant on it - incorporated it."

"Oh my stars and garters, missed the secondary mutation entirely - some expert /I/ am." Hank moves to study the image, and studies closely. "Hrmph…you're right, it is a secondary mutation and the signature seems to indicate it was what would have happened 'normally', if there's such a thing. What is interesting…I can't quite determine what stimulus was used to /trigger/ it." And that lack on his part clearly bugs the man.

He looks to Jeriah and Jemma both, and thoughtfully asks. "The nanotech, perhaps? It might have been trigger AND binding agent…"

One of the consoles begins to chirp. It is a console that is monitoring the nanotech, and the console is displaying that the devices are beginning a reboot cycle. The reboot cycle starts slowly at first, but after about two seconds, the speed at which the technology reboots grows at a rapidly exponential pace.

Inside the stasis fields, something strange begins to happen. The gunmetal gray skinsuits begin to peel away and reform, a truly remarkable sight to see; millions of tiny machines moving back and forth as part of the rebooting cycle, resembling a literal wave of motion up and down the captive mutants' bodies. While this might be troubling, the medical monitors actually show that the three mutants' vitals… are stabilizing.

"Yeah I can take a look." Jeriah says stepping over to the workstation. He connects up and frowns. "Starting analysis. These things are definitely talking. The dampeners in the room are definitely working well though."

Then there's something that makes him take a sudden step back though neither of the other two feel it. "Woah, hold on. Something just happened. The nanites are adapting. They're rotating signals… they're through the interference. The suits are synched up. They're exchanging information VERY quickly. At petabyte-per-second ranges."

That's a LOT to be doing wirelessly. Just what the hell is going on here?

"Secondary mutations aren't unknown and we know that several agencies have been working to trigger them, Hank. I was thinking a dependancy. Those suits seem to control their abilities, in a way …" Jemma looks to Jeriah to see how he's progressing just as the alarms start to sound.

"A petabyte-per-second… That's impossible over wireless." the biochem exclaims. Clearly it's not.

"Get a TAC team positioned in the corridor." She says to the orderlies. If these mutants breach containment, they could be in trouble.

"Jeriah, can you tell what they're doing? And can you shut them down? If you need more processing space … use … me."

"This is interesting…the nanotech seems to be unrelated to the mutations." Of course then the blue guy notes the increased activity, and blinks. "It shouldn't be able to communicate at all with the suits in the chamber." He moves to the controls for the stasis chambers, and starts trying to counter their adaptions. He's not a computer, but he's really smart.

"I don't suppose the chamber has the ability to deliver an EMP if needed?"

Because if he can't at least slow it down, that is about all he can think of to suppress it!


One by one, the captives' eyes seem to be trying to open. Adrenaline levels on the biomonitors begin spiking, as do very specific areas of the brain, as reflected on the neural scanning consoles. They are the areas of the brain responsible for communicating pain, and they're spiking. Hard.

Bullfist's body begins thrashing about on the ground, locked somewhere between a violent seizure and enraged gestures. His eyes flutter, and an alarm warns them that the stasis field may not hold.

Silverlock's face tightens, his teeth grinding together, hands curled into trembling fists. Though his eyelids pry open, his eyes seem distant, as if they weren't there, somehow not connected to the suffering his body is feeling.

Kwabena suddenly releases a vicious howl of agony, but it's cut short when his body transforms into a black goo. There is some bubbling where the head ones, but soon enough he reforms, writhing about on the floor, only to transform into a cloud of black that batters against the containment field to no avail.

This time, their vitals begin spiking, but it isn't due to the withdrawals Simmons had registered earlier. Now, it's because of the transmissions Jeriah has detected; the nanotech is inflicting physical pain somehow, and it's causing the mutants' heart rates to skyrocket. Of all of them, Silverlock is the most at risk; his heart rate is already pushing 140 BPM, well into the potentially lethal range.

"Yeah but I am going to need some help. Hank you need to stop them from breaching containment or…" The hacker-soldier's eyes narrow as he pulls Jemma over and starts to work on the technical end with her, getting her to translate when it's interfacing with biology in ways he doesn't understand.

"Whatever the files are, they're massive. But they're getting something in from outside. It's probably not radio. Someone's doing something a little bit… unnatural."

And then his eyes widen.

"It's a kill command! The nanites are terminating their hosts!"

Jemma allows Jeriah to interface with her, it's easier to share information that way and not worry about words. "I'm going to knock them out, I've tweaked our dendrotoxin formula for this. Aerocilised delivery into each room." It takes a moment before a mist fills the rooms, it should sedate the now waking mutants.

Which doesn't fix the issue their bodies are going into overdrive.

"Get the crash carts ready." She snaps to the orderlies "We might well need your dogs, London." London, not Jeriah. Jemma's in field mode. "Hank. You too. Not your dogs, but your strength. I won't these men die on my watch."


"This way, sir, Agent Simmons is in her lab and can't get away. She said she was expecting you." The SHIELD security agent says to Mikhail Rasputin as he's escorted through The Triskelion.

When the door to Jemma's lab opens, Mikhail is greeted by the sight of the biochem, peering at a rotating 3D model above her work bench. He might recognise the pattern of lines that are depicted - energy readings of some of sort. "I've not seen anything like this before, Jeriah. Have you got any hits on the databases yet?" She's speaking to the only person in the lab, a dark haired man.

"Oh, Mikhail. Come in. Sorry I wasn't there to greet you."

"Spasiba." Mikhail tells his escort before stepping into the lab. "Privet, Agent Simmons. I was not expecting to be met at gate. Is large, know how military works." The stranger gets a nod of acknowledgement before he looks at the hologram. "What is this you are studying?"

"We did have an appointment, Mikhail. I do appreciate you understanding though." Jemma steps to the side and lets Mikhail join her to the look at the display "That is a very good question. We're not entirely sure. It's an energy reading but we're not sure what from."

The biochem looks over to where London is working, he's engrossed in something at the moment and she'll throw something at him in a moment to get his attention.

"SWORD intercepted the signal and asked for some analysis. It's not just the signal that's of interest, but the source …" Is Mikhail aware of SWORD? He's heard of WAND - the weird ass nasty division as it's called lovingly internally. But SWORD? That doesn't get spoken of much.

"Yeah actually. Ever here of the Oh-My-God Particle? That's the closest thing I could find in any database but that sure as hell doesn't make sense for where we picked it up…" The man in the room with Jemma looks like a soldier but he's manipulating data like someone much more technically inclined. When Mikhail comes in he looks up.

"Oh hey. This is the conuslting you called in, Jemma? Names Jeriah. Nice to meet you."

"SWORD?" Mikhail asks. Not only is it less spoken of but it didn't exist before he entered the rift. "What is source? Pattern means nothing. Need to feel energy before knowing anything." And even then, he's not a scientist. He just uses it without knowing anything about the finer points. "Nyet." he answers Jeriah. "Never heard of."

"Not exactly, Jeriah. Mikhail is considering joining the agency actually." Jemma might have had something to do with the initial thoughts. "He asked to speak to me today and I've rather stood him up. So … here he is."

"Yes, SWORD - Sentient World Observation and Response Department. A division of SHIELD, you could say. Like WAND. It … is concerned with Space though and protecting those borders, where SHIELD is mostly concerned with physical Earth bound threats and WAND the supernatural. Or something along those lines."

"The Oh-My-God particle? Of course I have, Jeriah." Jemma sniffs a bit in his direction "It's the highest energy cosmic ray that Scientists have ever detected. We didn't think it was possible to get that much energy like that. Are you saying, Jeriah this is similar to that? Or just like enough?"

"Oh, the energy has been detected as originating from somewhere near the moon." Which explains SWORDs involvement.

"A high energy cosmic ray detected some years ago." Jeriah sums up with neigh Spaniard skills. He pulls out a monitor and throws up the data onto it to show Mikhail what they're looking at.

"This is showing a similar energy scale which means that it SHOULD be coming from something like a quasar. However when we trace it back it appears to be coming from somewhere in the vecinity of our own moon and there's just NOTHING that should be making it there. Anything energetic enough to throw off those kinds of readings that close…"

He sighs. "Well. There shouldn't even be a planet here."

There ARE other explanations. Technological ones. But nothing on earth even in the wildest dreams of the most advanced nations is even REMOTELY capable of producing that.

"Need to feel it, though. As in… do we need to arrange for you to go into space?"

"Space SHIELD instead of magic SHIELD." Mikhail nods, having heard of the latter because of Illyana and Keiko. At the mention of the moon, he glances up at the ceiling. "Have not been to the moon." he muses. His tone is definitely considering. "Could maybe go there. Can see. See better with telescope. Easier, more accurate, to go through dimension. Safe dimension." he adds for Jemma's benefit. "Would need spacesuit. Mine lost in wreck."

"Space SHIELD instead of magic SHIELD. Yes." Jemma agrees noting the glance at the ceiling. Funny how so many people actually do that. "But you were a cosmonaut, weren't you?" That's as much for Jeriah's benefit as anything. "SWORD has some pretty good tech and I've asked what they have in terms of observation. Jeriah, what was the exact wording of that reply?"

Jemma had snorted when she read that.

She considers Mikhail and then looks to Jeriah "Sounds to me like you're volunteering. But let me clarify what you just said - you can go through a dimension to get there, or it's just easier to go through a dimension than go to the moon?"

"Well this is regular SHIELD. The research got sent down to us from Space SHIELD." Space SHIELD. Magic SHIELD. Wait. Why isn't there a water shield?

The hacker shakes his head and looks at Mikhail curiously. "You were a cosmonaut?" That's… okay. Jemma has some interesting people in her rolodex.

"I believe the exact wording was 'Our space mirror is presently in for cleaning, so we cannot see the other side of the moon at the moment. Will advise.'" Someone thinks they're a wit.

"Honestly if you have that kind of skillset I'm a BIT surprised that SHIELD hasn't already tried to recruit you. Or are you just like me and prefer the contractor life?"

"Cosmonaut, da." Mikhail agrees and runs a hand over his hair. "Can open portal to place I know, place I see. On Earth, see limited to horizon. Curve of planet. Not sure I can go to moon from here. Also, not accurate. Hard to target in same dimension, off by miles. Dimension, easy. Open, go, on target. There, open portal to moon." Shaking his head, he tells Jeriah "Here to join."

For once Jemma is speechless as she looks at Mikhail. "That's … astounding and something I'm sure our people will be happy to hear. We have an orbital station that serves as Immigration and Customs for interstellar visitors - such as they are."

The politics of that are something that Jemma is aware of but fortunately not in her purview. That's someelses problem.

"So the signal *might* be coming from the moon or close to it but we don't have the ability to tell. We can send a detail to investigate but with the blockade up there, we need to be careful not to create an interstellar diplomatic incident."

"If you're interested in looking into it, I'll make the introductions if you like. But yes, he's here to join Jeriah." That gets the man a pointed look "And don't commiserate with him."

"Jeriah, how long did say they've been getting this reading?"

"Ah. Well that's a good way to make a first impression." Jeriah says. "If you ever want me to hack payroll and give you a raise let me know." That IS a joke. Jeriah isn't that stupid. Though he does think it would be funny. In a 'Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' kind of way.

But he's already typing into the system. "So space suits, oxygen, beacons. We'll want one of SWORD's cutters standing by in case anything goes wrong. I can put in the request, get it going." It gets put in in Jemma's name because Jeriah's just a contractor, but it still works.

"Anything I'm missing? Uh, the reading's been intermittent for the last…"

He checks the time. "Twelve hours and twenty seven minutes. Damnably hard to localize though. Best I can tell you is that it's at or near the base of the western slope of Montes Appeninus."

"Blockade?" Mikhail asks. He's going to need to be brought up to speed on oh so many things. Not just the ones not known outside of SHIELD but the ones not known a decade ago. "Closer, can tell maybe if signal strong enough. Maybe trace it to source. Never tried." Never been a need. "Be interesting to be on moon. First Russian, da?" Did they ever get there while he was away?

"Jeriah…" Jemma's tone is warning at the joke the contractor makes. "… you vex me." That he's handling the 'paperwork' earns him some brownie points though.

"Uh, yes. Blockade. There's a group of aliens that have our … system cut off from the rest of the galaxy. Earth, apparently, is a very juicy target and no one wants one group to have it over the other. We're using that to our advantage at the moment." beat "I'm sure you'll meet some representatives from those races on the Orbital Station, they have delegations there after all." And sometimes, end up on Earth causing problems.

"Yes, you will be the first Russian but with what you've told me, that's not something you'll want to publicise too much. Mikhail isn't a favourite of the Russian Government, Jeriah."

"Intermittent readings, I wonder if there's a pattern to that, can you tell?"

"Not so far, no. Believe me I looked for patterns." Jeriah notes. "But this SHOULD be a priority I think. Anything that can throw out particles like this is not something we want just floating around. Or sitting randomly on the moon. Or OTHER people getting their hands on? When can you start?"

At the moment Jeriah is doing some admin multitasking, going between the supply and personnel requests, Jemma's requirements and Mikhail's availability. The fact that he wants to join makes this MUCH easier.

"But yes. There's aliens up there. There might be a lot but as best we can tell some of them are invested in not letting others get through to here. Prime directive kind of thing maybe? It's sort of above my pay grade."

"Need telescope, see destination." Mikhail tells Jemma. "Then can go." Pause. "Had training, not been in space." he adds. Probably kind of important info. "Rift on Earth on island. Not issue though; any problem, open portal." Aliens he's heard about. The blockade, no. He just adds it to the list of things that's changed during his time in the other dimension.

"Well, I'm sure we can arrange a telescope for you. But first…" Jemma looks at the messages appearing on her screen. "Jeriah is already handling the requistions and assignments "We need to get you signed up and all official."

The idea of someone who can open Portals has Jemma rather intrigued. There's a couple of those in the Agency. "If you don't mind, I'd like to schedule some time with you when our calendars allow to learn more about your abilities. Call it professional curiosity."

Just don't ask Jeriah about it. He didn't like the cold.

"Are there any questions, Mikhail? Jeriah, anything more we can do with this here? If not, I suggest we head to HR and the cafeteria. Then we can all get on with what we need to do."

"Telescope. THAT I can get us faster…" He'll multitask while they eat. It's fine. To Jemma's question he nods. "I'm done here. We've got all the data we're going to get out of this. Our next priority should be setting up Mikhail here to get out there and figure out WHAT the hell this thing is."

Preferably sooner rather than later but some of that is going to be on SHIELD to get stuff moving. Jeriah is only one contractor. There's only so much he can do to prod them.

"What are ranks?" Mikhail answers. "Need refresher and advanced training but am not green recruit. Also, allowed to leave? Or teams of assassins hunt down ones who do?"

"Ranks? Contractor, Agent and Senior Agent. We're only quasi military or, according to Jeriah over there, not military at all." Jemma chuckles and locks her workstations, gesturing to the men to join her.

"We'll get all of that, Mikhail. And … wait, assassins for people who take leave?"

That has her stopping and just staring. "Uh. No. We're not the KGB… or HYDRA."

"Come along, I'm hungry and you've got an afternoon of paperwork ahead of you."

"They only send assassins after the ones who try to take secrets. Like the cornbread recipe in the cafeteria." Jeriah winks. "We'll get you the rank book but it's a bit confusing. Everyone gets called 'Agent'." Or, well, a LOT of people get called Agent. Still, there is a handbook. Jeriah just downloaded the PDF.

The resolution is crap but he can pick it up at a printer along the way.

"Shall we? Fuel up and then get to work getting you all squared away."

Mikhail looks from one to the other then nods. "Food, da. We eat then paperwork. No different in Russia." he sighs. Paperwork is universal.

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